Mr. Chairman, when I resumed
my seat yesterday I was giving my reason for opposing the resolution, and was about to quote the words of the late Hon. Ernest Lapointe as they appear at page 2468 of Hansard for 1939:
War Appropriation-Munitions and Supply
We are not alone in that view. Australia has always been against conscription, South Africa will never have conscription, Ireland would never have conscription. I think I am true to my concept of Canadian unity when I say that I shall always fight against this policy; I would not be a member of a government that would enact it; and not only that, but I say with all my responsibility to the people of Canada that I would oppose any government that would enforce it. I agree with what was said yesterday by the leader of the opposition and the Prime Minister, and what was said by Mr. Bruce of Australia, that the time for expeditionary forces overseas is certainly past, and it would not be the most effective way to help our allies.
There cannot be any misunderstanding as to the Liberal government's external policy. Let us see where the evolution began. Speaking in New York on October 24, 1940, the Minister of National Defence for Naval Services (Mr. Macdonald) said:
We have sent men and ships and guns and planes, over the seas, and we shall send more and still more, so long as there is a single Canadian dollar left to be spent or a solitary Canadian citizen to take his stand in defence of freedom.
Was the government prepared to endorse the policy involved in that astonishing statement? Yes, it was. Here is what was said by His Excellency the Governor General in his speech from the throne one month later, as it appeared in Hansard of November 7. 1940:
The measures which will be submitted to you are such as seem necessary to my advisers for the welfare of the country, and for the prosecution of the war to the utmost of our strength.
That, without equivocation, is a confirmation of what the Minister of National Defence for Naval Services had said. As a matter of fact all this has materialized, and to the utmost extreme.
Coming back to the minister's statement, may I say that it shows a thorough upset in the external policy of the Liberal government. Why has there been such a reverse in the government's attitude? The following revelation by the Prime Minister will explain the whole matter. In his speech of January 26, 1942, as it is reported at page 46 of Hansard, this is what he taught us:
Every hon. member of this house knows that except for the assurance that, in the event of a European war, there would be no conscription for service overseas, this parliament would never have decided, in the immediate and unanimous manner in which it did, to stand at the side of Britain in the resistance of aggression, and the defence of freedom.
As we now have conscription, it is needless to say that it was a cheated parliament which accepted Canada's participation in the war. Continuing with this revelation the Prime Minister added:
Hon. members are also aware that if, at the time when Canada's participation in the war was challenged in an election in the province of Quebec by a government professing a different political faith, a like assurance with respect to service overseas had not been given in the name of the present government by the late Right Hon. Ernest Lapointe, by the Minister of Public Works, and other Liberal leaders and members of this House of Commons from the province of Quebec, the verdict of the people of that province might have been wholly different.
_ It was also, Mr. Speaker, a cheated population that had not rendered a different verdict from the one rendered.
Now that we have had five years of applied conscription, of tremendous war expenditures, of gifts-more than three billions of dollars- to the governments of the empire, of ridiculous propaganda and of solid colonial servilism, let us see how the cycle of the Liberal party's imperialist evolution was completed. Speaking in the House of Commons on March 28, 1945, the Prime Minister said, as reported at page 299 of Hansard:
Hon. gentlemen opposite will find out when the opportunity comes-and I am thankful to say it will be given fairly soon-for them as well as the government to appear before the people of this country, whether or not the people of Canada feel that I have done my duty by the British commonwealth of nations, by the British empire, through every hour of the time I have been serving as Prime Minister of this country.
By that emphatic declaration the Prime Minister branded himself as a true imperialist and a straight Tory. I have spoken of evolution and of contradictions, but I wonder if those appellations are the right ones. I must confess I am rather lost. Would not the words "betrayal" apply more adequately?
Moreover, I have another very serious reason for opposing the resolution. I am given to believe that the verdict rendered by the electors of Grey North indicates a true opposition to conscription. Notwithstanding what has been so often said by members on both sides of the house, here is what was published in the Owen Sound Daily Sun-Times of January 23, 1945 on page 6. You can see from your place, Mr. Chairman, that most of this page is devoted to the Liberal party and General McNaughton's propaganda. To the right you will see a picture of the Minister of National Defence. I shall not go over all this political propaganda; it would take too much time. I am not using this for any political purpose; I am using it simply to make my point. This reads:
And the same Garfield Case told you at Rocklyn, January 16, "I'm still opposed to conscription as such but am for total mobilization of man-power and resources."
War Appropriation-Munitions and Supply
Men and women of North Grey, do you find this kind of double-talk reassuring-when your men overseas want reinforcements? Where is that "clear and emphatic policy of reinforcements" he talks about?
Case says plainly he is opposed to conscription. That means that if Case had the say-those 8,300 draftees would not be overseas now.
Let's have a man of action-not words and wind.
You want reinforcements, for your men overseas. McNaughton is getting your reinforcements. This is proven fact-not double-talk.
My conclusion is that the people of Grey North, having defeated the Minister of National Defence who was a champion of conscription, having elected the other candidate who was opposing conscription, have indicated that they are against conscription. They defeated the Minister of National Defence who still continues to impose conscription in this country against the will of the population of Ontario as well as of Quebec.
Topic: DEPARTMENT OF MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY